August 18

Versatile Lavender

Created by Anna Kapuvari

Get up, shower, dress, coffee, breakfast, out the door, crowded train, work, complaints, motivating, negotiating, worrying, out the building, and home.

Home…..where your environment works for you, not the other way round. But we humans need more than walls and central heating. What we need is a bit of my time with a warm, aromatic bath of fresh cut lavender, orange and rose petals.

All you need is a handful or two of lavender and orange peel. Place in a large pot of lukewarm water and leave for a day. Heat the mixture slightly and stir. Run a steamy bath with scattered candles and rose petals, then strain the dark, fragrant blend into the bath. Upon entering this perfumed heaven, you may experience a wave of euphoria as you slowly unwind from the day, and if you happen to have a glass of wine handy, so much the better!

Pleasuring away our stresses is what plants do best in modern living, and is very important for those starting out a family. Just ask Dr Jacky Boivin from Cardiff University.

“ For couples trying to have a baby, it was important to identify any avoidable stresses and also consider what impact they are having regarding lifestyle, which can have a more critical effect on the body.”

It would, of course, be absurd to start ignoring the necessities, but then again we need to pamper ourselves occasionally.

One particular choice of pampering is with lavender biscuits. Aromatic, infinitely variable, and highly moreish. Only cream the sugar and butter together light. Add flour and younger lavender leaves. Knead until it forms a dough. Gently roll out onto lightly floured board. Scatter the flowers over the rolled dough, and press in lightly with rolling pin. Cut into small round shapes. Place on greased baking sheet, bake for 10-12 minutes at 450F 230C gas mark 7. Remove promptly and cool on a wire tray.

Lavender Biscuits

100g/4oz butter

50g/2oz caster sugar

175g/6oz self-raising flour

Two tablespoons fresh chopped lavender leaves

One teaspoon lavender flowers removed from Spike

Ben Hawley

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